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Boris Chaliapin, 1904 - 1979  Search this
James Arthur Baldwin, 2 Aug 1924 - 1 Dec 1987  Search this
Watercolor, gouache, pastel and graphite pencil on paperboard
Sight: 35.6 x 25.1cm (14 x 9 7/8")
Mat: 55.9 x 40.6cm (22 x 16")
Frame: 57.2 x 44.5 x 1.9cm (22 1/2 x 17 1/2 x 3/4")
Exhibition Label:
Born New York City
African American writer James Baldwin spent most of his adult life in France, and so never numbered among the country's leading civil rights activists in the usual sense. But as one of the most passionate and eloquent writers about the problems of race in America, Baldwin gave substantial impetus to the civil rights ferment of the 1950s and 1960s. Shortly after the publication of his collection of essays The Fire Next Time in 1963, Time magazine featured this cover portrait. One observer said of Baldwin, "in the U.S. today there is not another writer-white or black-who expresses with such poignancy and abrasiveness the dark realities of American racism." Among Baldwin's best-known works are Go Tell It on the Mountain (1953), a largely autobiographical novel about growing up in Harlem, and his volume of essays Nobody Knows My Name (1960).
James Arthur Baldwin: Male  Search this
James Arthur Baldwin: Literature\Writer  Search this
James Arthur Baldwin: Society and Social Change\Reformer\Activist\Civil rights activist  Search this
James Arthur Baldwin: Literature\Writer\Novelist  Search this
James Arthur Baldwin: Literature\Writer\Playwright  Search this
James Arthur Baldwin: Literature\Writer\Essayist  Search this
Portrait  Search this
Credit Line:
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; gift of Time magazine
Object number:
Restrictions & Rights:
Usage conditions apply
© Chris Murphy
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National Portrait Gallery Collection
Data Source:
National Portrait Gallery